August 01, 2011

Tortilla Soup

One thing I didn't expect when migrating across the world, was a big difference in food. I mean, I'd always heard that Aussies are so similar to Canadians and that the cultural shock is slim to none. This is true on most fronts. I have already gone into details about some of the different words they use, but I haven't noted a food type that is not nearly as prevalent as it is back home - Mexican.

And I LOVE Mexican food. In general, stores in Australia do not carry a large variety of Mexican style food or ingredients. The main brand you see is Old El Paso (of course) but others are hard to find. The lack of Mexican food is also felt in the restaurants. Not sure if you know, but apparently Adelaide has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia. I've seen 2 Mexican places, that's it!

Why would I have expected any different though? I mean, Mexico is as far from here as any place! I guess I didn't really think about it at all. And I must say, any lack in Mexican food is more than made up for in the abundance of awesome Asian restaurants. From Thai to Chinese to Indian and everything in between - you can find some amazing Asian dishes in Adelaide.

So, needless to say, I try and make Mexican food at home so we never have to miss it too badly.  This tortilla soup doesn't require anything out of the ordinary (so I can find the fixings at a regular grocery store) and it certainly brings a taste of Mexico to my kitchen which is miles and miles away.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped medium
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1tbsp paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 L chicken broth
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (3 cups)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (you can grill, bake or fry, or use a whole chicken from the store)

1 avocado, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup green onions, diced
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
Tortilla chips, crushed
Lime wedges
1.    Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and toss for about 3 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, coriander, chili and cayenne and stir for another 3 minutes.

2.    Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Add chicken and simmer for 5 more minutes.

3.    Prepare with toppings, or let people dress their own.

Serve and prepare to take your praise!